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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

From the ancient and beautiful Italian island of Sicily emerged a variety of distinguished names, including the notable surname Calabretta. Although people were originally known only by a single name, it became necessary for people to adopt a second name to identify themselves as populations grew and travel became more frequent. The process of adopting fixed hereditary surnames was not complete until the modern era, but the use of hereditary family names in Italy began in the 10th and 11th centuries. Italian hereditary surnames were developed according to fairly general principles and they were characterized by a profusion of derivatives coined from given names. Although the most traditional type of family name found in the region of Sicily is the patronymic surname, which is derived from the father's given name, local surnames are also found. Local names, which are the least frequent of the major types of surnames found in Italy, are derived from a place-name where the original bearer once resided or held land. Often Italian local surnames bore the prefix "di," which signifies emigration from one place to another, and does not necessarily denote nobility. The Calabretta family lived in Viterbo.


The surname Calabretta was first found in the southern region of Sicily.

Italian surnames come in far more variations than the names of most other nationalities. Regional traditions and dialects are a decisive factor in this characteristi c. For example, northern names tend to end in "o", while southern in "i". Also important, but not unique to Italy, was the fact that before dictionaries and the printing press most scribes simply spelled words according to their sounds. The predictable result was an enormous number of spelling variations. The recorded spellings of Calabretta include Calabria, Calabrèse, Calabrese, Calabrèsi, Calabresi, Càlabri, Calabri, Calabra, Calabrètta, Calabretta, Calabr and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Calabretta research. More information is included under the topic Early Calabretta History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Prominent among bearers of this surname in early times was Vincenzo Calabro, who was a civic senator in Messina in 1656, 1659, and in 1664. Giuseppe Calabro...

Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Calabretta Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Calabretta arrived in North America very early: John Calabra, who arrived in South Carolina in 1823 at the age of 30, Angelo Calabrese, who arrived in New York city in 1893, and Nilola Calabrese, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1890..


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    Other References

    1. Bongioanni, Angelo. Nomi e Cognomi. Saggio di Ricerche Etimologiche e Storiche. Torino: A. Forni, 1979. Print.
    2. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
    3. Bascapè, Giacomo and Marcello del Piazzo. Insegne e Simboli Araldica pubblica e privata medievale e moderna. Rome: 1983. Print.
    4. Di Crollalanza, Goffredo. Enciclopedia araldico cavalleresca Prontuario nobiliare. Pisa: Presso La Direzione Del Giorale Araldica , 1878. Print.
    5. Annuaire Général Héraldique Universel. Paris: Institut Héraldique, 1901. Print.
    6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
    7. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
    8. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1978. Print.
    9. Glazier, Ira A. and P. Williams Filby Edition. Italians to America. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. Print.
    10. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
    11. ...

    The Calabretta Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Calabretta Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 12 September 2011 at 14:22.

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